(Washington, D.C.) – Amnesty International applauded the mobilization of activists “demanding justice and fairness for all women” Thursday as President Obama signed into law the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Originally passed in 1994, VAWA provides federal funding for programs and research aimed at preventing and prosecuting domestic and sexual violence.
Cristina Finch, managing director of Amnesty International USA’s women’s human rights program, made the following comments in response to the signing of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization:
“Despite shameful efforts by some members of Congress to block critical new protections for Indigenous women, the LGBT community, and immigrant women, the reauthorization of this historic legislation now becomes law and will help ensure the safety of millions of women who experience domestic violence.
Today's signing by President Obama was realized only when thousands of activists mobilized against attempts by some members of Congress to block these new protections. The efforts of ordinary people demanding justice and fairness for all women made the difference.”
The new version of the law includes several new measures, including granting Native American tribes jurisdiction to prosecute non-native perpetrators of domestic violence against Indigenous women.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.